A Look at the Early Signs of Alzheimer's and Dementia

At Avalon Residential Care Homes, we specialize in providing conscientious, compassionate care to individuals with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. These conditions do not just affect the patient—they also have an impact on the patient’s loved ones. People in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia may not recognize the symptoms, so it is important for family members to stay alert. Early diagnosis will not prevent the progression of dementia, but it can slow it and make it easier for everyone to cope. Here are some signs to consider:

Senior woman portrait

Memory Loss
Memory naturally declines with age, so how can you distinguish between age-related memory changes and dementia? Someone who complains about losing their memory and can offer examples of times in which their memory failed is likely to be experiencing age-related memory problems. People with dementia seldom point out memory problems and may even be unaware of them until someone else mentions them.

Getting Lost
It is normal to struggle to remember directions. You may notice that a loved one has to think for a while before remembering how to get to a restaurant or a friend’s home. This normal part of aging becomes worrisome when a loved one gets lost in familiar, frequently visited places. People in the early stages of dementia may suddenly start taking longer to get home because they cannot remember the route.

Socially Inappropriate Behavior
Aging does not impact social skills. Other factors, like increased fatigue or side effects from medications, can make a person seem impatient and less interested in socializing. Dramatic changes in social demeanor, however, are not normal. When dementia sets in, a loved one may begin acting out in socially inappropriate ways, such as being overly aggressive.

If you are supporting a loved one who is suffering from dementia, know that you are not alone. At Avalon Residential Care Homes, we understand the distinct physical and emotional needs of dementia residents, and our assisted living facilities have been designed with these demands in mind. Learn more about Avalon Residential Care Homes by calling (214) 752-7050.